The luxurious Fairmont Empress Hotel has 477 rooms and is located in Victoria’s downtown inner harbor. It is situated right across the street from where the Seattle ferries dock and where all of Victoria’s main attractions are. The property is over 100 years old holding a lot of heritage and culture. Most of Victoria’s main attractions like whale watching, famous dining outlets, parks and beaches are located within walking distance of the hotel. The location of the Fairmont Empress provides convenience for the guests and opportunity to explore a lot of different luxuries.
Currently I do not have a vehicle so I commute to work via transit. I live in the Royal Oak area and it takes me approximately 25 minutes from when I leave my house to when I walk through the Fairmont Empress staff doors. The location of my home gives me a lot of different options of times and makes it that much easier to get to work.
I love where I work! The colleagues who I work with are all so supportive and they are what make my job great. The environment at the front desk is fun, busy and full of excitement. We all work so well together and support each other everyday. All of the management team are very supportive and take the time to create this positive work environment. If I could describe in one word what my work environment is it would be “supportive” No matter what department you are in there is always someone who will help you. One thing that separates my current job from any other is the strong friendships that I have created at work. It is a great feeling to go into work and know you are not working with just another colleague but a friend who you trust, encourage and support.
As soon as I enter the staff entrance to the hotel I prepare myself for my shift. The first thing I do is enter the staff laundry and grab my “clean” uniform. 🙂 Once I am all suited up I punch in my ID code and walk to the front desk to start the day. No matter what day it is or what time my shift starts some of the routine things include getting my float ready, daily briefings by the manager on duty, cash out procedure and the front desk/concierge task list duties.
Every day is different at the front desk and this is one of my favorite parts about the hospitality industry. The colleagues who I work with are from all different parts of the world, which enables us to create a memorable and personable experience to our guests. Depending on the occupancy of the hotel I may pick up concierge shifts. This gives the front desk staff more time to concentrate on checking guests in and out. On a normal day there is around 3-4 front desk agents on and one full time concierge on. Going back and forth from concierge to front desk positions allows me to gain more of an understanding of what is going on in the city and to get to know the guests more. A typical day at the concierge desk includes booking guests a shuttle to the gardens via Cruise Victoria Shuttle , whale watching excursion for 3 hours on Five Star Whale watching tours , or a zip lining adventure for those guests who seek adventure. If a guest is wanting suggestions on dining outlets the most popular cuisine is Il Terrazzo, which is a famous Italian restaurant known for their family style service. Some of the fun things that make this job so much fun is that I can be apart of guests stay from when they check in to the hotel until they check out. You get the chance to understand your guests more when you check them in, book their activities, follow up with how their experience was and wishing them back to stay at the hotel. It is the guests who acknowledge your hard work is what makes me remember why I love this job. I am proud to be an ambassador of the famous Fairmont Empress.
On my days off I make an effort to be a tourist in my hometown, whether it be to go kayaking or for a bike ride down Dallas road. It is important to understand what is going on in Victoria so that you can deliver the right information to guests. Due to the location of the property we get a lot of individuals who are coming off cruise ships and want to walk around the hotel and ask questions about things to do. One of the great luxuries that you get to enjoy when you work for the Fairmont Empress is discounted rates on a lot of Victoria’s attractions and transportations. Heli jet has a great relationship with Fairmont employees giving us the opportunity to fly back and forth to Vancouver at a great rate. On my days off I try to take advantage of the great deals Heli jet has to offer!